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Virtual Career Readiness Summer Camp: How Did It Go, and What Did We Learn?

In a world where everyone is constantly rushing to achieve career readiness, COVID-19 quarantine gave an opportunity to stop, think about the next steps, and prepare ourselves for the right moves in the job market and search.

During this summer, AMA New York hosted a Virtual Career Readiness Summer Camp. For five weeks, 30 marketers had a chance to listen to hints, tips, and best practices from top career advisors and coaches. The topics covered were:

  • Find and Leverage Your Strengths for Career Success (watch recording on-demand here)
  • Effective Personal Branding and Networking to Land a Job (watch recording on-demand here)
  • Make Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile Work for You (watch recording on-demand here)
  • Practice, Practice, Practice to Ace Your Next Interview (listen to recording on-demand here)
  • Ready, Set, Go! (watch recording on-demand here)

Each event covered a specific aspect of the job search process with hands-on tactics and successful stories. As such, during the “Find and Leverage Your Strengths for Career Success” session, participants learned how to pick and showcase strengths and skills to create a standout resume. Lily Benjamin, Global Talent & Organization Development Sr. Executive, shared her personal experience and tips on creating the right resume that helped her land the dream position.

On “Effective Personal Branding and Networking to Land a Job, the speaker, Lisa Guillot, Founder of Be Bright Lisa Coaching, spoke about how to develop an authentic personal brand statement and a strong declaration for the next 90 days. The secret to the success of personal branding, according to Lisa, lies in answering the following three questions:


  • What is your industry’s problem?
  • What is your solution?
  • What is the happy ending?

Answering those prompts will help you build a bold and effective statement that makes your career readiness shine.

The third session, “Make Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile Work for You,hosted by Briar Dougherty, CEO & Founder of Career Organic, spoke about building a strong, ATS-friendly resume. She also shared best practices for creating an optimized LinkedIn profile, as well as how to analyze job descriptions and tailor your resume and LinkedIn profile to land more interviews.

During the “Practice, Practice, Practice to Ace Your Next Interview” session, attendees learned how to answer a job interview’s tough questions without panic. Marzena Ermler, Career Services Manager at The New York Public Library, helped to develop interviewing skills through a mock interview session, outlining the tips and techniques to succeed – some of which are:

  • Use PAR (Problem, Action, Result) structure in your answers
  • Emphasize experience and training related to the job opening. If you know about the company’s products and services, you should refer to them as you answer questions. It is impressive if you have extensive knowledge about the company.
  • After being asked a question, it is OK to pause and think about your answer. Respond with more than a “yes” or “no.”
  • Do not ramble. A successful interview occurs if the interviewer talks 50 percent of the time.

She also covered 10 Golden Rules for any job interview that matter a lot:

  1. Appearance
  2. Appropriate Clothing
  3. Attitude
  4. Being On Time
  5. Customer Focus
  6. Honesty
  7. Confidence
  8. Showing Interest
  9. Courtesy
  10. Asking for the Job

The last but not least camp session focused on the emotional aspect of career readiness. Victoria Khazan, the President at Change Ethic, shared her knowledge on the “Ready, Set, Go!” approach:

  • Prepare (Act)
  • Mindset and Awareness (ReAct)
  • Your Individual Approach (Interact)

This session mostly covered feelings that job seekers experience and how to control those to ease the job hunting process.

Aside from educational lectures, participants had a couple of virtual happy hours where they could connect with one another more. This led to stronger friendship bonds and resulted in a wonderful idea to continue the learning process by sharing experiences they have after the Summer Camp finished. The new activity will be an informal camp where every camper will teach others the skills they possess.